Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Power of Anti-Americanism?

I caught a bit of the new game show, The Power of 10 hosted by Drew Carey last night while flipping through the channels:

The show combines an element of pop culture with the classic pyramid approach, asking contestants to predict the answer to questions posed to thousands of Americans, such as “How many believe they are smarter than president George Bush?”

As you can imagine from the question on George Bush above, the show is filled with subtle negative remarks guised as humor about Americans and the Bush Administration. For example, Carey implies in the following interview with TV Guide that most white Americans are racists: Give me some examples of questions asked.
Carey: "What percentage of Americans think they're smarter than President Bush?" "What percentage of white Americans would never vote for an African American as president?" Even if it was David Palmer on 24?
Carey: Even if it was Barack Obama.

Another question from the show last night asked those polled if they thought Dick Cheney could beat them in a duel with a shotgun. Carey mentions the negative press Cheney gets and that people don't like the Vice President. Even if true, why mention it so often? The questions seemed to be phrased in very negative ways to try to pull for laughs about the inefficiency of the current administration or the provincial nature of Americans. None of it seems terribly funny.

When Americans do answer questions posed by pollers, Carey often made wisecracks to let the audience know what an enlightened being he is. When asked, "How many women consider themselves feminists?" only 29% of those polled considered themselves feminists. Carey's response? The women who did not consider themselves feminists were riding off the backs of the feminists who came before and were basically too ignorant to know that this is what they were doing. Okay, fair enough but perhaps the way that the questions were phrased determined the outcome of the answers. For example, the women polled might have been in favor of equal rights for women, but not for the type of radical feminism pushed by Catherine MacKinnon or Andrea Dworkin. Many women are wise to this type of "feminism" and want no part of it. The questions may be phrased in a way that does not allow one to know why the pollee answered the way he or she did.

This set-up might make for funny or more exciting tv, or maybe not:

CBS' new Drew Carey-hosted game show "The Power of 10" faltered in its second outing while Fox won in the adults 18-49 demographic in Wednesday's primetime.

I still have Carey's hilarious book DIRTY JOKES AND BEER: STORIES OF THE UNREFINED that I read a few years ago and it was much more politically incorrect, I wonder what happened to him?



Blogger Unknown said...

One only need look at the signature on his paycheck.

12:37 PM, August 12, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...


Yeah, I figured his career was taking a nosedive and this was a good way to make a comeback, and/or he has just been hanging around Hollywood too much. Dissing the American populace probably seems normal to him now, actually, he's probably still pretty libertarian there.

12:44 PM, August 12, 2007  
Blogger Connie du Toit said...

There is also something that happens to celebrities, having to do with never being disagreed with. That would be more your field than mine, but happens to doctors and lawyers, too.

People will not risk getting on their bad side (or can't) so they won't state that they think they're misreading the facts (or don't have them all). This gives these folks the sense that everyone is in agreement.

Then they are SHOCKED! SHOCKED! when a show like this is canceled and people stop going paying to see their work.

Summary: They get bad advice or no advice, with lots of hangers on who stroke their every thought.

2:10 PM, August 12, 2007  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Mainstream Hollywood has lost its creativity. I can't remember the last time I watch an entire show on ABC, CBS or NBC except for a sporting event. Of the 5 movies showing locally, two are second sequels, one based on a kid's TV cartoon show from 45 years ago, one based on a more recent, still running TV cartoon and the other a B grade dumb comedy.

Hollywood can't look past their distaste for George Bush long enough to at least realize that the same old joke isn't funny after a few thousand tellings. What they laugh at is not the joke but the euphoric feeling they get from believing they are smarter and more clever than the rest of us.

I wonder how many people think they are smarter than Al Gore. Bush had a higher GPA at Yale than Gore had at Harvard. Bush earned a graduate degree. Gore earned a graduate degree in, uh, no degree and five F's.

The show is just another example of the self delusions of the left.

3:42 PM, August 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hollywood is probably like any other closed community. There are cliques, in groups and out groups, leaders and followers. Some people want to be cool, be accepted, get invited to all the good parties. So they go along with whatever the cool people are doing - they dress alike, talk alike, think alike. If, in Hollywood, the movers and shakers are liberals, the "lesser" members of the community probably take on liberal characteristics in order to fit in.

In high school, it's a matter of relative discomfort. In Hollywood, it's a matter of whether you get work or not.

This kind of goes back to the thread about defining altruism. On the good side, these people do contribute to good causes. On the bad side, they tend to be smug and superior about it, so you suspect they contribute just to pump up their egos. The fact that a lot of them are actors - living embodiments of narcissism - makes you wonder what the game is.

I can see some of them using guilt about political beliefs and causes to manipulate others - as a device to maintain power and control within the community.

4:17 PM, August 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. - Just got back from the movies, and there were previews for two anti-war films: Rendition (about an innocent Middle-eastern man who gets kidnapped by the CIA) and Lions for Lambs (not clear what it was about.

I'm hoping they'll ask penetrating questions about the current conflicts rather than vomiting H-wood leftist propaganda. We'll see...

4:22 PM, August 12, 2007  
Blogger David Foster said...

So, I wonder how Drew Carey would do flying an F-102.

5:24 PM, August 12, 2007  
Blogger Joe said...

Your comments on feminism are interesting. Years ago I worked with several women software engineers. One day I asked them if they considered themselves feminisits. Their responses were a swift and emphatic; "NO!"

One woman was very pro-life and stated that "feminism" demanded that she be pro-abortion to be "legitimate."

As you suggest, the word feminism is loaded with meanings that go far beyond believing in equal rights for women.

In the end, it is every day working women who made great advancements with equal rights, not the radical feminist movement, which I feel causes more problems than it solves by alienating so many people. (I daresay that most civil rights movements benefit more from the people in the trenches just going about their regular lives than the radicals in charge.)

5:33 PM, August 12, 2007  
Blogger Joe said...

PS. I've never found Drew Carey very funny. Like most mediocre comedians and artists, he's taken the easy path.

5:36 PM, August 12, 2007  
Blogger Garble said...

David, I'm not sure how well Drew would do as a pilot. But he was a marine. So I figure if he wants to poke fun he's earned the right. As for the questions having a leftist bent...the administration is always ridiculed. If it was Clinton the questions would likely have had to do with eating or sex. How many american's think they can eat more hotdogs than President Clinton" How many americans would let their closes female relative work at the white house. etc.

8:39 PM, August 12, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Just track his career.

The Drew Cary Show was a hit, and earned it. But ABC wanted to cancel it before it's last season. They had to pay to make the episodes because Cary had renegotiated his contract after the first year. He made them, ABC showed them, but lost money on each show.

Who's Line is it? The cheapest show ever made for TV. No sets, not costumes, just four comics and a keyboard. A reworked Brit import.

This show's a reworked Family Feud. And in the fall he takes over on The Price is Right.

There's a big career move for you. Replacing Bob Barker.

But, I agree. 15 years ago he was terrific.

8:39 PM, August 12, 2007  
Blogger Tom Royce said...

It is a no brainer. Carey used to be a conservative but he is an entertainer first. When he stopped getting jobs and auditions even though his Q rating was still high, he knew it was because of his politics. Ain't no work for those who don't tow the line.

So the new Drew is left and now working. It is not rocket science.

8:43 PM, August 12, 2007  
Blogger Lou Minatti said...

Drew is hard-core libertarian. He is also a proud pron dog. I listened to Penn Jillette's old radio show and Drew was a frequent guest. It's no mystery where he's coming from. He's so pro-pron that even from a leftish standpoint it would be considered unhealthy. Drew is very open and honest about his vices.

So he's all about complete personal freedom, although I think Drew is an example of what can happen when you travel too far down that road. I think it's starting to have a negative impact.

9:01 PM, August 12, 2007  
Blogger jeff said...

It's about the easy pop. I have a friend who, if he broke a guitar string during a show, would make a joke about John Ashcroft's America. It was a easy non-thinking joke. Everyone KNEW that John Ashcroft ran a justice department that was 10 minutes from being totalitarian so they all laughed. I asked him once WHAT he based that on and he told me it was just a joke and I should lighten up. Yet, there would have been jokes about Clinton eating or sex, but nothing about burning people or sending in the swat team to resolve a custody dispute. That is the difference and that is why is isn't the same. As far as the questions, I think they are intentionally ambiguous as I think top prize is 10 million. You want to make sure chance plays a bigger part that knowledge.

9:24 PM, August 12, 2007  
Blogger Antioco Dascalon said...

Definition of irony:

A man burnishing his feminist credentials by calling 71% of women ignorant and lazy.

Since when does feminism mean men demeaning women?

9:32 PM, August 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The tall guy, the very talented black guy, and every now and then the British guy made the show Who's Line Is It? Almost anyone could have done Cary's job on that show.

I agree, TV is a waste. I watch History, Learning, Science channels, and Fox News for news. The Weather Channel for weather on the "8's" only. I can't wait for the Fairness Act to hit radio. Of course, it won't hit cable, because it is only Fox, against everyone else. Wondering how they will extend it to the net.

10:30 PM, August 12, 2007  
Blogger M. Simon said...

You never know.

There might actually be a market for this crap.

Time will tell.

11:09 PM, August 12, 2007  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Lots of jokes about people barbecues after Janet Reno's debacle in Waco.

Not right away. Too serious. It was an easy laugh line for quite a while.

If ever there was a time when we were close to the government going totally bad that was it.

You know, she looked the part too.

11:21 PM, August 12, 2007  
Blogger jeff said...

The tonight show, Letterman? Mainstream tv? I missed all those, or just dont remember them. It seemed to be 24/7 Ashcroft joke while he was AG.
I never understood why John Ashcroft was the boogie man, but Reno after her stint in Miami before she became AG, and then Waco and elian gonzalez, it was never anything even approaching what Ashcroft went thru.

11:44 PM, August 12, 2007  
Blogger Uriah said...

I have observed that celebrities share many of the traits that are common to "only" children. The sense of infallibility, entitlement and possessiveness. I say this as an "only" child myself. Many of the behaviors I see among celebrities only spark recognition in me.

5:28 AM, August 13, 2007  
Blogger Peg C. said...

Hubby and I stumbled upon the show while channel-surfing. The commercials for it had already ticked me off but watching the show for nearly a full, excruciating half-hour ain't gonna happen in this house again in this lifetime. I never cared for Carey but this thing sucks dry dust. Awful show, and oh yeah, ANTI-AMERICAN.

Take it to France, Drew.

7:34 AM, August 13, 2007  
Blogger JBlog said...

Have you noticed how comedians simply stop being funny when they start to espouse a political viewpoint?

The best comedians are funny because they make fun of everyone -- starting with themselves.

It's only after they begin trying to be taken seriously -- "no really, I AM smart and sophisticated, with well-informed, nuanced political views" -- they just stop being funny.

Janene Garafalo used to be kind of funny, and now she's just a shrieking harpy.

Al Franken used to be marginally funny, and how he's not even that.

Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O'Donnell -- YIKES! A couple of very unfunny freak shows.

I guess in their painful attempts to be considered both funny and serious, they become neither.

8:57 AM, August 13, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I recall, Saturday Night Live used to have a pretty good time with Ford, Carter, etc. Remember Dana Carvey's Bush impressions? Or Phil Hartman's Clinton?

If you're too angry at something, you can't make decent jokes about it. A great humorist can make anything funny - even the Bush/Cheney/Rove/Big-Business Nazi Cabal Conspiracy Regime. And a great humorist can get the majority of the audience to laugh when speaking from a political viewpoint rather than alienating half of them.

What we're dealing with these days is mediocre humorists. They can only be funny when the election goes their way and the audience agrees with them. If these conditions are not met, they don't think anything's so funny anymore...

2:23 PM, August 13, 2007  
Blogger Serket said...

I saw a show a few years back possibly on A&E about celebrities who were "in the closest" about their conservative political views and it included Drew Carey. This entry confirms his views, so I don't know what is happening. Unless he is just trying to be hip for a liberal CBS audience.

I have not watched the show, but the concept sounds interesting. But you make some good points about the subtle bias. I think President Bush is probably smart, but there are a lot of idiots who think they are smarter. He doesn't seem real savvy in front of a camera which hurts his image.

I've heard that slightly more Democrats are racist than Republicans, but I can't find any clear answer on the topic.

d: This show's a reworked Family Feud. And in the fall he takes over on The Price is Right.

I didn't even think of that, but it sounds like a similar game. I think guessing percentages instead of words is funner. I haven't heard about him taking over The Price is Right, but I'm glad it is not Rosie, even though I don't watch the show much at all.

3:06 PM, August 13, 2007  
Blogger Alcibiades said...

Last I heard, Carey was an ex-Marine and a conservative (though, possibly a libertarian-conservative). So, I think this has more to do about getting paid than anything else.

10:28 PM, August 13, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obvious question: Does somebody else write some of his jokes for him?

11:54 AM, August 14, 2007  
Blogger Kim du Toit said...

"I wonder what happened to him?"

One word: Hollywood.

2:09 PM, August 14, 2007  
Blogger neil k. said...

It seems that you start off complaining that he is politically incorrect... he's making fun of Bush and you consider that unacceptable. Conversely, in the past, when he was "politically incorrect," he was expressing political opinions that you agreed with.

What's the point?

11:02 PM, August 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you really need someone to answer that for you, Neil?

8:05 AM, August 19, 2007  
Blogger mlbasham said...

Hi Dr. Helen,

I'm a columnist for and a pop-culture critic for World magazine. I'm doing a short piece on Carey and Power of 10 and came across your blog. Just wanted to say I enjoyed your insights. To tell you the truth, I hadn't noticed how strongly the usually-conservative Carey seemed to inject negative comments about the Bush administration until you mentioned it. Wonder if he feels he must do this to fit in these days? Anyway, nice blog!

Megan Basham

2:16 AM, August 21, 2007  
Blogger holdingoutforutopia said...

I guess he had a change of heart because He was most clearly Pro Bush in the whose line/green screen days as I recall an argument on the show with Greg Proops or someone.

I guess he found a brain cell or 2, better late than never.

5:07 AM, August 28, 2007  
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